Coalition of the Willing-to-do-anything-for-visa-waivers

By Jessica M. Vaughan on October 31, 2008

“Mission Accomplished” was the clever slug line on a double news item circulated today to consular officers around the globe through the list-serv known as the Town Crier ([email protected]).

Reports on DHS Secretary Chertoff’s announcement state that, effective November 17th, citizens of South Korea and six other countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic) will no longer need to pass a visa interview to travel to the United States if they say their purpose of travel is business or pleasure and promise to stay less than 90 days. The Bush administration has pushed for visa waiver privileges for South Korea and other countries who contributed some level of support to the war in Iraq, however token. The second article, from the same day, reports on South Korea’s announcement that they are all done in Iraq now, and will withdraw their remaining 520 engineers, since the situation has become “considerably stable.” Indeed.